IN THE INTEREST OF P.G., Minor Child. P.G., Minor Child, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E.
Seymour, District Associate Judge.
minor child appeals the juvenile delinquency adjudicatory and
B. Feuerhelm of Feuerhelm Law Office, P.C., Des Moines, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Mullins, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
child, P.G., appeals the juvenile delinquency adjudicatory
and dispositional orders. We find there is sufficient
evidence in the record to show P.G. committed the delinquent
act of first-degree theft. We determine P.G.'s claims
regarding placement at the State Training School are moot as
he has been discharged from the school. We affirm the
decision of the juvenile court.
Background Facts & Proceedings
February 12, 2016, P.G., who was then seventeen, assaulted
another teenage boy, E.C. P.G. stated he would continue to
hit E.C. until E.C. gave P.G. his Apple watch, valued at
$700, and as a result E.C. gave P.G. the watch. E.C. received
a bloody nose, multiple cuts inside his mouth, and a strained
shoulder as a result of the incident. The State claimed P.G.
committed the delinquent act of first-degree theft, in
violation of Iowa Code section 714.2(1) (2016).
April 1, 2016, P.G. attended a party at the home of B.A., an
acquaintance. During the party several items were stolen from
the home. A small safe, which was a cube measuring about
sixteen to eighteen inches per side, was taken from the home.
The safe contained items worth approximately $100, 000. A
broken window from an upstairs bedroom led officers to
believe the safe had been thrown out the window. T.N.
testified he was standing outside the home and heard a loud
crash. When he looked, he saw a box near the house. T.N.
observed P.G. run out of the house, pick up the box, then
place it in a red Grand Am. O.R. testified he drove a red
Grand Am and P.G. got a ride to and from the party with him.
After the party, D.B. testified he saw a video of a person
holding a bunch of twenty dollar bills on a Twitter account
he associated with P.G. When D.B. commented on the video, he
received the response, "profit from that house."
The State claimed P.G. committed the delinquent act of
first-degree theft, in violation of section 714.2(1).
16, 2016, T.N., who was a witness to the theft on April 1,
2016, received a photograph from P.G. on Snapchat showing
P.G. with his fist up and stating, "Watch your head
[T.N.]. Snitches get stiches." There was also a
photograph of T.N.'s police statement and a caption,
"Man I didn't touch no safe [T.N.]" The State
claimed P.G. committed the delinquent act of tampering with a
witness, in violation of section 720.4.
September 1, 2016, P.G. admitted committing theft in the
first degree based on the incident in February 2016 and
tampering with a witness. There was a hearing on the
remaining claim of first-degree theft. In an adjudicatory
order, the juvenile court determined P.G. committed the
delinquent act of first-degree theft by taking the safe from
the home of B.A. In the dispositional order, the court
determined P.G. should be placed at the State Training
School. P.G. appeals the adjudicatory and dispositional
Standard of Review
delinquency proceedings are not criminal prosecutions, but
are special proceedings that serve as an ameliorative
alternative to the criminal prosecution of children."
In re J.D.F., 553 N.W.2d 585, 587 (Iowa 1996).
"Juvenile delinquency proceedings are reviewed de
novo." In re S.M.D., 569 N.W.2d 609, 610 (Iowa
1997). We give weight to the factual findings of the juvenile
court, but are not bound by them. J.D.F., 553 N.W.2d
at 587. Our objective "is to ensure an ...